Painting & Poetry with Eloise Larson

Expressing Your Purpose

~ Hands on Art Workshop ~

Painting and Writing from Your Life

Eloise Larson - Expressing Your Purpose

Join Master Artist and Teacher, Eloise Larson, for a contemplative workshop to explore the expression that comes directly from our everyday lives. Larson will guide you through a focused and meditative process that will manifest in paintings, drawings and gathas, an ancient form of Indian Poetry.

5 DAYS! May 8th ~ 12th
10 am ~ 4 pm
Friday, February 23rd ~ Class Exhibit & Reception ~ 5:00 – 7:00 pm


No art experience is necessary and any experience is welcome. Participants may choose to show their work at a reception on Friday, May 12th, from 5-7 pm, at Liberty Arts.

“Contemplating conditions, I write. Concentrating my focus, I paint. Often, I cross the line and manufacture the ‘idea’ of writing or painting. Upon seeing what my mind is up to, I open my grasp and let go. My work is a record of this practice.” E. Larson

Registration: 530.842.0222 or


Workshop size limited to 12 participants. Contact us for reduced fee scholarships.

Liberty Arts, 108 W. Miner Street, Yreka, CA 96097


Genuine Expression in Paint

Based in the meditative process of sitting with arising ideas and seeing connections, students will be guided to create paintings that come directly from them. Approaching work as beginners, students will explore each component of painting.  Then, responding to the elements that gain their attention, students will discover which kinds of marks, colors, shapes, etc., resonate with each of them. This course is not about planning and making a picture happen. It is about, painting, listening, learning and letting the image arrive on the canvas.

A necessary element of this class is learning the language of art making. We will explore how to talk objectively about our work without judging what we have done. To accomplish this, we need a common language to describe the contents of our work; subject portrayal, formal design, translation, process and technique, message, and resolution of work:

  • Subject Portrayal:  What is the subject of this painting? Did the artist make evident what the subject of this painting is? Why or why not?

  • Formal Design: Did the artist unify the design of this painting with line, shape, value, color and/or texture? Why or why not?

  • Process and Technique: Are the artist’s marks and methods whole, comprehensive and thorough? Why or why not?

  • Message Translation: What is the message of this painting? Did the artist use the subject, the form, and the process to express this message? Why or why not?

  • Resolution of Work: Is this painting complete? Did the artist solve all the problems (subject, form, process and message) in this painting?  How do you know? If not, what is left to do?

Sarjana Gaydos in WorkshopOnce experienced in these terms, critique then becomes an objective description of each painter’s work that bypasses judgement and furthers learning.

Often my courses start with an activity that introduces the basics and the students to each other. Using a blank canvas, students work in pairs to set up a working palette and learn the basics of the painting process. Working together on one piece of paper, first, they explore line. Next, they move to another partner and a new task. This continues until all students have had a chance to work together and have been introduced to the elements of design and color. Returning to the original paper, the original pair works together to finish the painting. Just in this one lesson, we experience subject, form, process, message, resolution and the contributing worth of everyone in class.

Often I encourage students to take a meditative approach to working. Leading a guided meditation, I ask for a response on paper to questions like those that follow:

Do you prefer shapes in nature or in architecture?

Is there a color that you wear more than others?

Are predictable situations or random happenings your style?

Can you walk by a mess?

What makes you cringe?

What do you think about when you first wake up? Or just before fall asleep?

Do you have a recurring thought?

Cate Lewis PaintingStudents will be expected to amass the big data for their work by collecting in a box or journal, words, images, or thoughts that get their attention.  Over time, reflecting on this assortment, an inherent subject will become obvious. This “Big Idea” then manifests in a painting or a series of work.

When nearing the completion of a painting and while still immersed in our “Big Idea”, we will pause and write a short reflective poem. This will help students connect the intentions in their paintings to the intentions of their lives at that moment.  Using a simple poetic form based on the ancient Indian Gatha, this relationship will become clear. Then the process completes.


Working in education for 40 years has shaped my understanding of learning styles and behaviors. In 1979 I earned a BS in Education from the University of Nebraska and in 1999 a MFA from the University of Alaska. I taught for 25 years in elementary and secondary schools. As part of an art educator team for the Fairbanks Northstar Borough School District, I developed and introduced comprehensive K-6 lesson kits for classroom teachers. After receiving a National Endowment for the arts grant in 1988, I inserviced rural Alaska K-12 teachers. I founded and directed the UAF Arts Education institute in 1998. During this time and since moving to California in 2004, I have taught drawing, color and design, printmaking and painting for the University of Alaska and for the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California.  In this time I also been an artist-in-residence in rural and urban areas on the West Coast and Alaska. Since 2009, I have mentored a group of artists in my studio. Recently, in many Northern California locations, I have developed and implemented an intuitive painting workshop called, “Expressing Your Purpose”. My goal as an educator, mentor and artist is to share my experience of recognizing how to recognize personal style and content and with each of my students.

I have been a painter for 50 years, exhibiting my work since 1982, in private and public galleries.

Hours: Wednesday through Saturday • 10:00 ~ 5:00
Liberty Arts, 108 W. Miner Street  • Yreka, CA 96097 • 530 842-0222